WHAT THE TREES TELL US
A History of the Okanagan as Told by Trees: A Collaboration by Gerrasimos Martselos, Crystal-Dawn, and Nature
Trees are living museums, collecting evidence of the environment around them. Throughout their lengthy lives, trees record the world as it was. The size and shape of the rings show the climate through which each tree lived, with signs of rainfall and floods, heatwaves, droughts, and fires. Trees also endure insect infestations, bacterial, viral, and fungal attacks, while fending off and reacting to winds and extreme weather. The history of the climate, pressures and stresses that each tree lives through creates beautiful effects in the wood. Each tree has a real life story and can become an epic, natural piece of art. Exhibit on loan from Okanagan Big Wood
There’s always something new at the MAV thanks to a series of rotating pop-up exhibits.
The following pop-ups are on display as of August 2023:
- Canada’s Involvement with the Manhattan Project
- Immigration to Vernon: Stories of Resilience
- History of the Grey Canal
- Museum Construction Through the Years
In addition to feature, traveling, and pop-up exhibits, the MAV has a series of old favourites. Contrast the stern and stately nature of a full-sized 1910 Minty Coach, with the humble and serene beauty of a Secwépemc dug-out canoe. Take in the sights and sounds of an old, full-sized post-office clock, and then meander down a boardwalk that takes you back to Vernon in its earliest days. Peer into a 1930s house (and keep an eye out for some objects out of place). Pause to reflect in our Indigenous Circle, which honours the Ancestral and Unceded syilx Territory upon which the museum is located. Explore our hands-on Natural History area, which allows visitors of all ages to get up close and personal with a variety of plants and animals. We have something for everyone!
REPATRIATION OF INDIGENOUS COLLECTIONS
The Museum & Archives of Vernon has over 800 Indigenous cultural objects and 1500 archival documents. These Indigenous belongings originated from Nations within the Okanagan, along the coast, from the prairies and even the United States. They include beadwork, sculpture, baskets, stone tools, and photographs. Many are poorly documented, and likely misidentified, taken by collectors decades ago.
In 2021, the MAV signed on to the British Columbia Museum Association’s Call to Action, a pledge to return all human remains and grave goods.
As part of this pledge, the MAV is currently completing a draft of its new repatriation policy, which is expected to be ready in 2023. This repatriation policy does not just address human remains and grave goods, but all Indigenous belongings, and any supporting documents in our database. It will include a guide for Indigenous Nations and individuals who wish to know more about our collection and start their repatriation process. This draft will be shared with the community and changed based on feedback from our partners and host nation, the Okanagan Indian Band and the syilx People.
Our repatriation policy will be posted here in 2023, along with an inventory of our collections and any repatriation updates.
If you have any questions or feedback on repatriation at the Museum & Archives of Vernon please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, follow us on social media for any updates about repatriation.
PANDEMIC – a Short History
We’ve heard the word a lot lately, but what does it actually mean? What does it take for the spread of an illness to qualify as a pandemic?
The people of the North Okanagan have been through outbreaks, epidemics, even pandemics before. Can exploring our history teach us anything about our present, or our future?.
Vernon has a long and proud military history, with more than a century of dedication and involvement with the Canadian armed forces.
Get to know a little bit more about some of the local men and women who served our country in times of war and peace.